beauty

"I made two small changes to my routine and now my skin is the best it's ever been."

Disclaimer: Let me start by saying this post is not sponsored. These are just two changes that worked for me. They may not work for everybody. 

Until last year I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least one pimple on my face.

More often it was three or four. I never had terrible acne, the kind that can debilitate those who have it, but ever since I was about 13 years old, I’d had a persistent stream of pimples.

It was an annoying and constant battle. One would appear, and as soon as I’d slathered, popped and willed it out of existence a new one would materialise somewhere else on my face, seemingly to take its place.

It’s a familiar story, and as anyone reading who’s experienced this will know, no matter how many rules you follow, no matter how often you change your pillow, no matter how many steps you add to your skincare routine, no matter how many products you try: nothing works. Nothing got rid of my pimples entirely.

And then, just about a year ago, I made two changes that completely changed all that. I now have no pimples. None.

the-pill-for-acne
Funnily enough, I couldn't find any photos of me makeup free before mid-2017. But here's one of me with a face full of makeup to compare to the one above where I'm wearing none at all. Image: supplied.

Let me explain.

My skin had been the bane of my existence for years, but it had never gotten so bad that I'd been pushed to do something radical about it. Then at 25, I decided I'd had enough. I was finally fed up and actually ready to try something more serious.

My plan was to try the vitamin A medication my mum had used to get rid of her acne in the 90s. But I knew to use it I'd have to go back on the Pill, something I had resisted going back to for years.

But with renewed determination to do something, I went to my GP and asked for a referral to a dermatologist.

"I need to get rid of my pimples," I explained.

He suggested that I try going back on the Pill to see if it helps. I may not even need to try more drastic measures, he said.

I did know that the placement of my pimples - around my chin - suggested they were hormonal, so it did make sense that the contraceptive pill could help. But I was sceptical. My skin had been bad in my teens and I'd been on the Pill the whole time.

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Still, diligently every day I took each tiny yellow pill - which was a brand that contained 35mg of ethinyl estradiol and 2mg of cyproterone acetate. And slowly things started to change.

the pill for acne
The humble ol' pill made a huge difference to my skin. Image: Getty

My face's transformation from spotted to blemish-free wasn't immediate. For about three months, it looked exactly the same in fact. But I was told it would take time and I persisted.

At the same time, I decided to cut back on my makeup. At first, I went from wearing foundation and powder almost every day to simply applying some BB cream and concealer.

Then, over the space of a few months, I wore that BB cream and concealer less and less often - to the point where I was no longer wearing makeup to work, and sometimes not even on the weekend. And that's pretty much where I sit now - makeup free unless I'm going out to lunch or dinner or some other event.

I didn't make any changes to my diet or exercise, or my skincare routine. Although over this time I started introducing more natural makeup products to my beauty bag, this happened so slowly that I don't think it's what made the difference to my skin.

And there was such a noticeable difference. By early 2018 I was noticing huge changes to my skin. And almost without realising it had disappeared, my acne had gone.

Video by Mamamia

It wasn't just that the pimples had been erased from my face - my complexion had improved too. It was no longer red in patches, but an overall freckled, cream, far more unified tone (except for those ever-present dark under eye circles).

My skin only got better as the months went on. My acne scars began to fade, the persistent dryness on my cheeks and oiliness on my forehead had mellowed out to soft and smooth all over.

Six months on, and my skin is the best it's ever been.

I understand that one of my two lifestyle changes might not be the permanent solution I had always hoped for, but for now, it's working for me.

What changes have you made that changed your skin? Let us know in the comments below. 

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